QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN ADDRESSING ANXIETY
Recently, I have developed a customizable workshop to help employees of corporate clients begin addressing an increased level of anxiety in the workplace. The same principles, however, can be applied during a career transition. Often the causes of anxiety are external – such as those related to the economy or a spouse who is currently unemployed. Sometimes the causes are internal – unknowingly created by the organizational culture or by individuals within the company. Regardless, heightened anxiety has an adverse effect on productivity and on your well-being. I offer a few questions you might ask yourself as you consider developing your own strategies.
What are the sources of the anxiety? an individual? a team? an organization?
What is the context and/or culture surrounding the anxiety?
Is it in my control to address it?
Are generational differences at play?
What is the “shadow culture” present and is it a part of the problem?
Have I made mistakes addressing anxiety in the past? (for example, if you have been a supervisor, have you used the “manic defense” or, if you are unemployed, are you blaming others for your lack of motivation or progress in moving forward?)
Is the natural response here to fight or to take flight?
What is the relationship of authenticity to credibility within the source of the anxiety?
Am I consciously tring to build resiliency?
Am I taking ownership for my part of the problem?
What are my resources? And, Can I boost available resources quickly?
Do I incorporate regular discussions or seek help when addressing anxiety?
Do I recognize a philosophy of every individual realizing emotional choice (i.e. power over and responsibility for our feelings)?
Am I seeking help?
Don’t let anxiety scare away productivity, especially during a career transition. Start by asking yourself some critical questions like the ones above. Then, develop a plan and take action. You need to make an immediate impact on your situation, as well as to start building a sustainable program to inoculate yourself in the future – to build resiliency. Start today. You’ll be glad you did.